Pakistan urges D-8 countries to cooperate on energy

Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) With energy needs mounting, Pakistan has proposed to the D-8 or group of eight developing countries to evolve a mechanism of cooperation in the energy sector.

Addressing the 33rd Session of the Commissioners of Developing-8 Organization here, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also said that Pakistan would be organising the first meeting of the D-8 energy forum in Islamabad, said a foreign office statement.

Aziz also told the inaugural session of the two-day meet that the member countries -- Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey -- could take initiatives in cooperation in capacity building, transfer of technology, transfer of capital and labour, energy and food security, Islamic banking and halal sector development.

Pakistan assumed the D-8 Chair at the last summit in Islamabad in November 2012.

Later, during a meeting with D-8 Secretary-General Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, Aziz proposed ways to fast track the implementation of trade and visa agreements.

He expressed hope that the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement will be implemented soon.

Mousavi assured support of his organisation in expediting implementation of D-8 agreements that envisage current intra-D-8 trade of US$ 150 billion to increase to US$ 500 billion by 2018, the statement said.

Aziz urged the organisation to initiate substantive cooperation by operationalising the agreements related to removing barriers in trade and business, particularly the Preferential Trade Agreement.

D-8 was established in 1997 and the inaugural summit in Istanbul was attended by Nawaz Sharif, then prime minister. The organisation reflects the interests of a combined population of one billion and a market of about $1 trillion.

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